Haas has become the first Formula 1 team to release images of its 2018 car, launching the VF-18 via its social media channels.
The new car broke cover on Wednesday, one day ahead of a launch event for Williams in London. The VF-18 is described as an evolution of last year’s VF-17 that scored 47 points on its way to eighth place in the constructors’ championship. The most notable change is the introduction of the Halo, with Haas the first team to show what its 2018 car will look like with the cockpit protection device included.
There is also a subtle livery change for the team, with Haas reverting to a similar color scheme to its first car back in 2016, and team principal Guenther Steiner says one of the biggest areas of focus was to reduce the weight of this year’s design.
“The biggest part of the car’s evolution was the addition of the Halo,” Steiner said. “It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the Halo could survive the mandated loads. The total minimum weight of the car increased because of the Halo, and there’s a higher center of gravity simply because of the Halo’s position. But, everyone is in the same boat.
“The regulations stayed pretty stable between 2017 and 2018, so the VF-18 is an evolution of our car from last year. It’s less about reinvention and more about refinement. You see elements we had from last year on the car this year.
“Our 2017 car was actually pretty good, but we didn’t always get the best out of it, and that’s what we aimed to change in 2018. We got the car as light as possible to carry more ballast. We were able to do a better job of putting the weight where we wanted it.”
Team owner Gene Haas added: “We eliminated a lot of the variables where we knew we were weak. We’ve focused on what it’s going to take to get our car to be consistent and close that gap to the top teams.”
Haas yesterday challenged his team to get within half a second of Ferrari, as the 2018 car will again use a number of Ferrari components including the power unit and gearbox. The actual car will first roll out on the morning of the first test in Barcelona on Feb. 26.
Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.